to mark off as different (often fol. by from or by):He was distinguished from the other boys by his height.
to recognize as distinct or different; recognize the salient or individual features or characteristics of:It is hard to distinguish her from her twin sister.
to perceive clearly by sight or other sense; discern; recognize:He could not distinguish many of the words.
to set apart as different; be a distinctive characteristic of; characterize:It is his Italian accent that distinguishes him.
to make prominent, conspicuous, or eminent:to distinguish oneself in battle.
to divide into classes; classify:Let us distinguish the various types of metaphor.
[Archaic.]to single out for or honor with special attention.
to indicate or show a difference (usually fol. by between).
to recognize or note differences; discriminate.
Latin distinguere; see distinct
Anglo-French, Middle French distinguer)
extension, by -ish2, of Middle English disting(u)en ( 1555–65
dis•tin′guish•a•ble,adj. dis•tin′guish•a•ble•ness, dis•tin′guish•a•bil′i•ty,n. dis•tin′guish•a•bly,adv. dis•tin′guish•er,n. dis•tin′guish•ment,n. 2.Distinguish,differentiate,discriminate suggest an attempt to analyze characteristic features or qualities of things. To distinguish is to recognize the characteristic features belonging to a thing:to distinguish a light cruiser from a heavy cruiser.To discriminate is to perceive the particular, nice, or exact differences between things, to determine wherein these differences consist, and to estimate their significance:to discriminate prejudiced from unprejudiced testimony.To differentiate is to point out exactly and in detail the differences between (usually) two things:The symptoms of both diseases are so similar that it is hard to differentiate one from another.2. confuse.